More reminiscing about PDAs was Re: Thoughts about iWalk

Jeff Bone
Thu, 03 Jan 2002 15:51:53 -0600

"Meltsner, Kenneth" wrote:

> Too true, despite my desire for a big Newton.

Sharp had a biggie Newton (8 1/2 x 11) in the wings in early-mid '94 that got pulled, IIRC primarily because of battery life concerns.  The earliest days of Active Paper (which became Activerse) were spent doing custom apps on Newton for various verticals;  we had a
customer (a healthcare imaging division of Kodak) that *desperately* wanted to buy a bunch for an app we built for them, but we could never get Sharp to move.  Apparently, they only built a few prototypes --- we never got one. :-/

One of the things I really, really liked about the original Newton was the rubberized skin of the cases.  For a handheld device, that was a real nice-to-have.  I've seen this appear and quickly disappear in other devices as well:  a couple of MP3 players have had this,
and the RCA eBook has it, too.  (It otherwise reminds me a LOT of the Magic devices.)  IMO, it's got a nice, grippy texture that helps you hang onto the device.  Would be great for phones or phone / PDA convergence devices.  Looks nice, too, much better than that tacky,
slick, shiny chrome thing that seems to be in vogue now.  (Yuck.)  Probably a cost issue, though.